Hello SOTGC community,
This is part 2 on how to use social media for your B2B Marketing needs. We’ll start right off with finishing the list of rules for implementing this resource into your marketing strategy.
#4: Be consistent
Social media profiles: make sure your LI, FB, Twitter, Slideshare, Quora etc. profile send a consistent message. This is the 101 of branding. Don’t confuse people.
Choose your focus area. If you tell people you’ll talk about Business Intelligence on Twitter and then you engage in political discussions, chances are, you’ll lose a large part of your audience. Be consistent in your promises and what you deliver.
The main point here is that your brand and content have to be consistent so you don’t confuse your audience. They will only catch bits of what you say here and there and it needs to fit together to a nice puzzle.
Example: When McDonalds ran a campaign on how healthy their food is now, it totally backfired. Their public image for fast food and the attempt by marketing to make McDonald’s sound healthy could not be reconciled. They were ambushed on Twitter.
Kristina: Talking about social media content creation, too many organizations especially in the technology sector have content that is driven by product features and benefits. Can you explain the importance of creating stories and why we should forget marketing speak ?
At the risk risk of sounding like a broken record, it all comes back to the target audience. You have to do your homework and get to know your audience in as much detail as possible. Only then can you create valuable content. Yes, you can entertain, and yes, you can take advantage of the latest video creating app or other gimmick, but, in the long run, and especially in B2B, people want to value. This means, you have to clearly understand what keeps your audience awake at night; their pain points and what their ideal solution looks like. Where are their information gaps?
Then, you need to provide this content to the right audience at the right time; which admittedly is not trivial. Hence, I always advise my clients to start small and build up.
But, nobody can get around doing their homework, and I have lost customers who did not want to do that. They’d say: “Can’t we just do social media promotions?” They don’t understand that you have to have something important to say or you go under, or worse, get punished.
#5: Add gamification to your social content creation efforts – can you share a client example?
I have not, personally, implemented gamification for a client. But, when I worked for SAP Community Network, a community with 3 million members, gamification was one of the key ways to motivate our members to participate.
It can be as simple as adding ratings to blog posts or giving points to contributors or badges. Or as sophisticated as creating an influencer program in which top contributors get access to executives or conferences.
The key for gamification is to be clear on what you want your audience to do and to incent that particular behavior; this can be harder than it sounds, but vendors like BadgeVille are experts at this. People always say how sales people are coin operated, that’s because the goals they are given are monetary. What do you want your community to do?
#6: Leverage user generated content – can you share with us a B2B organization that is leveraging user generated content and how they are benefitting
This is 100% related to the last question about gamification. How do you incent users to generate content for you? In addition to the above, a company could host contents.
For example, at SAP, we had a yearly video contest that culminated in an awards ceremony at the technical user conference TechEd. Any community member could create a video about why they were a community member or really anything they wanted to share in this context. It was a very engaged discussion; funny, and the in-person aspect at the live event made the group even more cohesive.
Another example is Cisco:
They allow every employee in the company to blog. As we all know, having fresh content and regular content updates helps with SEO. At Cisco, an employee simply has to get certified in an online training session, and then they can contribute their expertise to the public company blog. It gives employees the opportunity to become thought leaders and makes the company more human; people share in a way that is more accessible than marketing speak often is.
#7: Curate content. Kristine: I do not advise just taking content and putting it on your website or blog and creating discussions around it. Please share with the audience why you think they should be content curating to reduce workload.
I fully agree. What is the point in that? I call that spam and a lot of Twitter is going that way right now. I hope it won’t bring down the future of Twitter.
When does it make sense to curate?
You work for EMC and are responsible for the Twitter channel. You are not an SME on everything, plus, it’s impossible for you to create enough content to make the channel compelling. You reach out to other people and organizations in the company to curate content from them.
I manage a Twitter handle for a Global 2000 client, with a focus on Innovation in Silicon Valley. Every day, I read tons of content on the topic and retweet relevant articles with commentary. I tweet about the work the client is doing with their local non-profit partners in Silicon Valley; charity events; fund-raisers; innovation events; shows and events in the area that are relevant. There is a good following and decent level of interaction that makes me believe there is an interest in this type of content. The goal: to get the attention for the client in Silicon Valley via thought leadership and useful information; plus, the opportunity to engage with us.
I’d like to give our listeners an inside look at how we position ourselves as thought leaders on B2B social media networks.
- Providing relevant content.
- Answering questions.
- Building relationships.
Photo credit: technorati.com